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estahlished May i8, ig^6 

2012 Induction Ceremony 
October 14, 2012 

Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities 
Southern Pines, North Carolina 




Robert G. Anthony, Jr. 


-n 1' «f,\ ^vf-. ^ 


2012 Inductees 

Maya Angelou 
Kathryn Stripling Byer 
John Lawson 

The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame is a program of 
The North Carolina Writers' Network. 


North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame Coordinators 

The North Carolina Center for the Book 
at the State Library of North Carolina 

The North Carolina Collection 
at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library 

The North Carolina Humanities Council 

The North Carolina Writers' Network 

The Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities 

With Support for the Induction Ceremony From 

The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines 
Neal Hutcheson and Eric Hodge, DVD Production 
The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation 

The News & Observer 
The North CaroHna Arts Council 
The North CaroUna Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill Library 
The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources 

The North Carolina Humanities Council 
The North Caroliniana Society, Inc. 
The Pilot 
Richmond Rentals & Sales 
Thousands O' Prints, Greensboro 
Wake Forest University 
The Women of Weymouth 

Selection Committee 

James W. Clark, Jr., Chair 

Margaret Bauer 
Faye Dasen 

Rebecca Godwin 
Jan Hensley 

Linda Hobson 
Rob Neufeld 

Dannye Romine Powell 
Samm-Art Williams 

Editor: Ed Southern 

Cover Art: Evalynn Halsey 

Brochure Layout and Production: Charles Fiore 

Biographies: John Lang, Janet Lembke, James Stapf 

Bibliographies: John Blythe 

© 2012 by the North Carolina Writers' Network 


Induction Ceremony 

Sunday, October 14, 2012 

Suzanne Daughtridge 
President^ Weymouth Center for the Arts ^ Humanities 

J. Peder Zane 
Master of Ceremonies 


Maya Angelou 
Presented and Accepted by Ed Wilson 
Reading by Jaki Shelton Green 

Kathryn Stripling Byer 
Presented by Sally Buckner 
Reading by Lee Smith 

John Lawson 
Presented by Phillip Manning 
Accepted by Kay Williams 
Reading by Danny Bell 

Recognition of Award's A^rtist 
NicKi Leone 

North Carolina Writers' Network Board of Trustees 

Concluding Remarks 
Reception to Follow 

Digitized by the Internet 


in 2013  


Weymouth, Writers and Words 

It is a sturdy house, well over 100 years old now and still rising 
among glossy magnolias and tall pines which lean into the 
Carolina wind. Its elegance is understated, with none of the 
ostentation one might expect of a twenty-room house. Weymouth 
served the Boyd family well for many years; since 1977 its service 
has expanded beyond family to community, its mission marked by 
the good taste which distinguishes its architectural design. 

During the 1890s, James Boyd, a steel and railroad magnate, 
purchased 1,200 acres in Southern Pines and built a home. He 
christened this new estate "Weymouth," after a town he had 
visited in England. Set amidst a magnificent stand of virgin long- 
leaf pines, it served as a country manor where his grandson and 
namesake, James, often came as a boy to repair frail health and 
explore the imposing pine forest and surrounding countryside. 

Later, young James went to Princeton and then on to 
Cambridge to earn a master s degree. Rejected by the National 
Guard for health reasons, James went to work for Doubleday Page 
Company in New York in 1916. The following year he and his 
new bride, the former Katharine Lamont, spent their honeymoon 
in the house, but by spring 1918 he did receive a commission 
and went to serve in the Army Ambulance Service in Italy until 
1919 when he was discharged because of his health. Returning to 
Weymouth, which by now he co-owned with his brother, Jackson, 
he and Katharine began redesigning the house. They moved 
part of the original house across Connecticut Avenue to become 
part of Jackson's new home, now known as the Campbell House. 
To the remaining structure, they added a second story and two 
wings, enlarging the Georgian-style house to 9,000 square feet. 
James Boyd, now thirty-four years old, left the management 


of the family business to his brother while he pursued the 
dream which had begun when he was editor of his high 
school newspaper: to become a writer. Boyd's biographer, 
David Whisnant, observes that Boyd chose to live in Southern 
Pines because this site "seemed to offer the best conditions for 
beginning [a literary career] — a reasonable physical comfort, 
freedom from distractions, and a mild climate.. .and an opportunity 
to affirm the tangible values of American life." One of the earliest 
visitors to the newly-enlarged home was British novelist and 
playwright John Galsworthy, who, after reading Boyd's stories, 
encouraged him to try a novel, then, on a trip to New York, urged 
publishers to "keep an eye on James Boyd." In 1925, Scribner's 
published Boyd's first novel. Drums. It won immediate attention, 
not only for its story but for its realism — the result of Boyd's 
extensive and meticulous research. 

Boyd went on to write more novels, a number of short stories, 
and a collection of poetry. In 1941, he expanded his career by 
purchasing and editing the Southern Pines Pilot Meanwhile, his 
home became a welcome retreat for many of the best writers of 
the day: Thomas Wolfe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, 
Laurence Stallings, Sherwood Anderson, and Paul Green, as well 
as his editor, the legendary Maxwell Perkins, and his illustrator, 
N.C. Wyeth. His daughter, Nancy Sokoloff, once recalled that 
"During my father's lifetime there were no 'writers' colonies.' 
Our living room and that of Paul and Elizabeth Green served 
as settings for serious work and conversations about Southern 
writing and its future." 

The serious conversations went beyond literature. During 
World War II, Boyd organized and served as the National 
Chairman of the Free Company of Players, a group of writers 
who were concerned that constitutional rights might be 
compromised during the frenzy of wartime. Among the writers 
joining him in writing plays for broadcast over national radio 
were Orson Welles, Paul Green, Archibald MacLeish, and Stephen 
Vincent Benet. 

In 1944, after James Boyd's untimely death, Katharine 


continued living at Weymouth and publishing The Pilot. She 
and her children donated 400 pine-filled acres to the state for 
development into the Weymouth Woods Nature Preserve. When 
she died in 1974, she left the house, remaining land and forest 
to Sandhills Community College. But, unable to effeciently use 
the property, the College put it on the market. Fearful that this 
treasure would be demolished by developers, two friends of 
the Boyds undertook the task of saving it. Elizabeth Stevenson 
(Buffie) Ives organized Friends of Weymouth; Sam Ragan, then 
publisher and editor of The Pilot, rallied support from the State 
of North Carolina, the Nature Conservancy, the Sierra Club, the 
North Carolina Writers' Conference, and the North Carolina 
Poetry Society. The first person Ragan approached, playwright 
Paul Green, made the first donation: $1,000. Later, Moore County 
resident Bob Drummond provided a major boost with an initial 
contribution of $20,000 and a later donation of an equal amount. 

On February 15, 1977, Friends of Weymouth, Inc., was 
incorporated and the house, surrounded by twenty-two acres, 
has flourished as a full-fledged cultural center ever since. College 
groups and various arts groups hold meetings and retreats here. 
The great room and back lawn host concerts by chamber music 
groups and such notables as Doc Watson and lectures by speakers 
as varied as social critic Tom Wolfe and sociologist John Shelton 
Reed. There have also been frequent readings by North Carolina 
writers such as Clyde Edgerton, Kaye Gibbons, and Shelby 
Stephenson, as well as an annual Sam Ragan Poetry Festival the 
2nd Saturday in March. 

In addition to formal programs, Weymouth has hosted one 
of former North Carolina Poet Laureate Sam Ragan's favorite 
projects: residencies offering writers, artists, and composers stays 
of up to two weeks to pursue their art in James Boyd's hospitable 
home. Poet and novelist Guy Owen was the first writer-in- 
residence, and, just a few months before his death in 1981, he also 
made his last public reading at Weymouth. Since 1979, hundreds 
of writers and artists have held residencies here. Many testify 
that their art has flourished on this site; some even credit the 


hovering spirit of James Boyd and perhaps those of his many 
hterary guests with providing additional creative impetus. 

It is fitting that Weymouth, where James Boyd and hundreds 
of other writers have found congenial conditions for their 
work, is the site of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. 
It is also fitting that the space set aside for this distinction is 
Boyd's upstairs study, where James did his own writing, often by 
dictating to a stenographer as he paced back and forth, taking 
on the voices of his characters. Perhaps the spirits of those who 
are honored here will join the chorus of literary masters whose 
influence echoes through the halls and across the grounds of 

Sally Buckner 

Raleigh, North Carolina 



And down the centuries that wait ahead there'll he some whisper of our name, some 
mention and devotion to the dream that brought us here. 

— The Lost Colony by Paul Green 

From its earliest days, North Carolina has been blessed with 
the "mention and devotion" of a great host of writers 
living and working in the state. A rich literary heritage is 
a legacy cherished by all North Carolinians. 

The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame is established 
as a perpetual opportunity to remember, honor, and celebrate 
that heritage. By marking the contribution of its literary giants 
of every generation, it will support and encourage the further 
flourishing of excellent literature in the state. 

The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame was the dream 
of a generation of the state's most dedicated cultural leaders, 
mobilized by Sam Ragan, former poet laureate of North Carolina. 
It was authorized by a Joint Resolution of the General Assembly 
on July 23, 1993, then formally established by a grant from the 
N.C. Department of Cultural Resources to the North Carolina 
Writers' Network, a literary organization serving writers and 
readers across the state since 1985. 

The Hall of Fame is physically located in a notable shrine of 
North Carolina writing. The Weymouth Center for the Arts & 
Humanities in Southern Pines is the former home and workplace 
of novelist James Boyd and his wife Katharine, a distinguished 
journalist and patron of the arts. The large room where plaques, 
pictures, books, and other memorabilia of the state's honored 
writers are displayed was Boyd's workroom. 

Members of the Hall of Fame are selected by a committee 
of writers. The goal is to choose widely and inclusively from the 
great parade of novelists, poets, short story writers, playwrights, 
journalists, and storytellers of all sorts who have called 
themselves North Carolinians. While the first year honored only 
those from the past, the Hall of Fame now joins other notable 


cultural award programs in honoring living writers. 

In the 1920s, an editor visiting North Carolina marveled at the 
literary liveliness of the place where, she said, writers flourished 
in "an atmosphere of plain living and high thinking that I never 
experienced before." 

In the spirit of those who over the centuries have graced 
North Carolina with a literature of such quality, beauty and 
power, the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame proudly honors 
writers who have achieved enduring stature in their mention and 
devotion to their art and to the state. 

Roy Parker, Jr. 
North Carolina 


The Literary Hall of Fame 
Inductee Award by North Carolina Artists 

20I2 Artist 

Virginia Wright Frierson 

I have always drawn, painted, and written since I can remember. 

My work has taken form in other media as well over the years, 
including glass and cement sculpture, children's books, collage, 
linocut, huge murals, tributes, teaching, and parenting. I am writing 
now about some of my past projects while exploring new ideas. 

I will always draw and paint and write as long as I can remember. 

— Virginia Wright Frierson 

Featured Artists since 1996 

1996 Katherine Kubel, Chapel Hill graphic designer. Gold wooden 

frame with multiple openings for pictures and text. 

1997 Sally Prang, Chapel Hill ceramic artist. Brightly colored ceramic 

vase mounted on black stand. 

1998 Cathy Kiffney, Chapel Hill ceramic artist. Ceramic wall plaque 

with white magnolia and green leaves. 

2000 Tom Spleth, Raleigh potter and ceramist. Garden-tile vertical 
box sculptures in N.C. colors for the sea, pines, and clay. 

2002 Ben Owen, III, Seagrove potter. Vases with signature glazes of 
vibrant reds, jade greens, and traditional earth tones. 

2004 Jeanette Sheehan, Southern Pines visual artist. Print of 
original water color painting of Weymouth. 

2006 Janet Resnik, Chapel Hill potter. Large oval ceramic tray with 
Weymouth house and gardens motif 

2008 Carolyn Allen, Graham stained glass designer. Stained glass 
with piece featuring Weymouth's water lily pond design. 

2010 Jim Wallace, Wake Forest wood turner. One-of-a kind hand 
turned bowls highlighting the unique and various wood 


Literary Hall of Fame Inductees 

igg6 - 2012 

A.R. AmiMons, 2000 
Maya Angelou, 2012 
JaxMes Applewhite, 2008 
Gerald Barrax, 2006 
Doris Betts, 2004 
LeGette Blythe, 2002 
James Boyd, 1996 
Kathryn Stripling Byer, 2012 
Wilbur J. Cash, 2010 
Fred Chappell, 2006 
Charles W Chesnutt, 1996 
Jonathan Daniels, 1996 
Olive Tilford Dargan, 2000 
Burke Davis, 2000 
WiLiMA Dykeman, 1998 
John Ehle, 1997 
Inglis Fletcher, 1996 
John Hope Franklin, 1998 
Paul Green, 1996 
Allan Gurganus, 2010 
Bernice Kelly Harris, 1996 
George Moses Horton, 1996 
Harriet Ann Jacobs, 1997 
Randall Jarrell, 1996 
Gerald Johnson, 1996 
John Lawson, 20 1 2 


James McGirt, 2004 

John Charles McNeill, 1998 

Joseph Mitchell, 1997 

Robert Morgan, 2010 

Pauli Murray, 1998 

Guy Owen, 1996 

Walter Hines Page, 2010 

Frances Gray Patton, 1997 

William Sydney Porter 
(O. Henry), 1996 

William S. Powell, 2008 

Reynolds Price, 2002 

Sam Ragan, 1997 

Christian Reid, 2002 

Glen Rounds, 2002 

Robert Ruark, 2000 

Louis Rubin, 1997 

Lee Smith, 2008 

Elizabeth Spencer, 2002 

Elizabeth Daniels Squire, 2006 

Thad Stem, Jr., 1996 

Richard Walser, 1996 

Manly Wade Wellman, 1996 

Tom Wicker, 2004 

Jonathan Williams, 1998 

Samm-Art Williams, 2010 

Thomas Wolfe;, 1996 

Maya Angelou 

b. 1928 

For all her achievement as 
a writer, Maya Angelou's 
greatest work of art may 
be the remarkable life she has led. 
She is the kind of author whose 
dust-jacket biography deserves as 
much acclaim as her written words: 
poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, 
dramatist, producer, actress, 
historian, filmmaker, and civil rights 
activist; friend and colleague of 
Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.; mentor and teacher to 
many all around the world. British-born journalist and author 
Gary Younge has said, "Probably more than almost any other 
writer alive, Angelou's life literally is her work." 

Born on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Angelou 
was raised in St. Louis and in Stamps, Arkansas. In Stamps, Dr. 
Angelou experienced the brutality of racial discrimination, but 
she also absorbed the unshakable faith and values of traditional 
African American family, community, and culture. 

As a teenager, Dr. Angelou's love for the arts won her a 
scholarship to study dance and drama at San Francisco's Labor 
School. At fourteen, she dropped out to become San Francisco's 
first African American female cable car conductor. She later 
finished high school, giving birth to her son, Guy, a few weeks 
after graduation. As a young single mother, she supported her 
son by working as a waitress and cook; however, her passion for 
music, dance, performance, and poetry would soon take center 

In 1954 and 1955, Dr. Angelou toured Europe with a 
production of the opera Porgy and Bess. She studied modern dance 

with Martha Graham, danced with Alvin Ailey on television 
variety shows and, in 1957, recorded her first album, Calypso Lady. 
In 1958, she moved to New York, where she joined the Harlem 
Writers Guild, acted in the historic Off-Broadway production 
of Jean Genet's The Blacks, and wrote and performed Cabaret 
for Freedom to benefit the Southern Christian Leadership 

In 1960, Dr. Angelou moved to Cairo, Egypt, where she 
served as editor of the English language weekly The Arab 
Observer. The next year, she moved to Ghana where she taught 
at the University of Ghana's School of Music and Drama, 
worked as feature editor for The African Review, and wrote for The 
Ghanaian Times. 

During her years abroad, Dr. Angelou read and studied 
voraciously, mastering French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, and the 
West African language Fanti. While in Ghana, she met with 
Malcolm X and, in 1964, returned to America to help him build 
his new Organization of African American Unity. 

Shortly after her arrival in the United States, Malcolm X was 
assassinated, and the organization dissolved. Soon after Malcolm 
X's assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., asked Dr. Angelou 
to serve as Northern Coordinator for the Southern Christian 
Leadership Conference. King's assassination, falling on her 
birthday in 1968, left her devastated. 

With the guidance of her friend, the novelist James Baldwin, 
she began work on the book that would become / Know Why the 
Caged Bird Sings. Published in 1970, I Know Why the Caged Bird 
Sings was nominated for the National Book Award, and has never 
been out of print. The paperback edition remained on The New 
York Times nonfiction bestseller list for two years. The New York 
Times Book Review said Angelou "writes like a song, and like 
the truth. The wisdom, rue, and humor of her storytelling are 
borne on a lilting rhythm completely her own." Baldwin called 
the book "a Biblical study of life in the midst of death." Other 
critics praised the autobiography and its author for their "artistry 
and intellectual range," their use of "rich, dazzling images," their 
"resonance in the prevailing Zeitgeist," and how they encouraged 


other women writers to "open themselves up without shame to 
the eyes of the world." In 201 1, Time Magazine placed the book in 
its list of 100 best and most influential books written in English 
since 1923. 

One year after the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird 
Sings, Dr. Angelou published her first collection of poetry, Just 
Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Diiie, which was nominated 
for the Pulitzer Prize. Critic Carol Neubauer wrote, "Angelou 
turns her attention to the lives of black people in America from 
the time of slavery to the rebellious 1960s. Her themes deal 
broadly with the painful anguish suffered by blacks forced into 
submission, with guilt over accepting too much, and with protest 
and basic survival." Other critics praised the collection for its 
"moving blend of lyricism and harsh social observation." 

Dr. Angelou has published five more autobiographies since 
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings including Gather Together in 
My Name (1974), Singin and Swingin and Gettin Merry Like 
Christmas (1976), The Heart of a Woman (198 \), All God's Children 
Need Traveling Shoes (\ 9 86), and A Song Flung Up to Heaven 
(2002). The list of her published verse, nonfiction, and fiction now 
includes more than thirty titles. 

A trailblazer in film and television. Dr. Angelou wrote the 
screenplay and composed the score for the 1972 film Georgia, 
Georgia. Her script, the first by an African American woman ever 
to be filmed, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. 

Her appearances on television and in films include the 
landmark television adaptation of Alex Haley's Roots (\977) and 
John Singleton's Poetic Justice (1993). In 1996, she directed her 
first feature film, Down in the Delta. In 2008, she composed poetry 
for and narrated the award-winning documentary The Black 
Candle, directed by M.K. Asante. 

Dr. Angelou has served on two presidential committees, 
was awarded the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000, the Lincoln 
Medal in 2008, has received three Grammy Awards, and holds 
more than thirty honorary degrees. President Bill Clinton 
requested that she compose a poem to read at his inauguration in 
1993. Dr. Angelou's reading of her poem "On the Pulse of the 


Morning" was broadcast live around the world. 

Wake Forest University brought Dr. Angelou to North 
Carolina in 1982, naming her the first Reynolds Professor of 
American Studies, a position she still holds. She makes her home 
in Winston-Salem. 

Dr. Angelou's words and actions continue to stir our souls, 
energize our bodies, liberate our minds, and heal our hearts. 


Still I Rise 

You may write me down in history 
With your bitter, twisted hes, 
You may trod me in the very dirt 
But still, like dust, I'll rise. 

Does my sassiness upset you? 
Why are you beset with gloom? 
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells 
Pumping in my living room. 

Just like moons and like suns. 
With the certainty of tides, 
Just like hopes springing high. 
Still I'll rise. 

Did you want to see me broken? 
Bowed head and lowered eyes? 
Shoulders falling down like teardrops. 
Weakened by my soulful cries. 

Does my haughtiness offend you? 
Don't you take it awful hard 
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines 
Diggin' in my own back yard. 

You may shoot me with your words, 
You may cut me with your eyes. 
You may kill me with your hatefulness. 
But still, like air, I'll rise. 

Does my sexiness upset you? 
Does it come as a surprise 
That I dance like I've got diamonds 
At the meeting of my thighs? 

Out of the huts of history's shame 
I rise 

Up from a past that's rooted in pain 
I rise 


I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, 
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. 
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear 
I rise 

Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear 
I rise 

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, 
I am the dream and the hope of the slave. 
I rise 
I rise 
I rise. 

From And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou. Copyright © 1978 by 
Maya Angelou. Reprinted by permission of Random House, Inc. 



All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes. New York: Random House, 

The Collected Autobiographies of Maya Angelou. New York: Modern 
Library, 2004. 

Gather Together in My Name. New York: Random House, 1974. 

The Heart of a Woman. New York: Random House, 1981. 

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. New York: Random House, 

Singin and Swingin and Gettin Merry hike Christmas. New York: 
Random House, 1976. 

A Song Flung Up to Heaven. New York: Random House, 2002. 

"Even the Stars Look Lonesome." New York: Random House, 

"Great Food, All Day Long: Cook Splendidly, Eat Smart." 
New York: Random House, 2010. 


"Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with 
Recipes." New York: Random House, 2004. 

"Letter to My Daughter." New York: Random House, 2008. 

"Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now." New York: 
Random House, 1993. 


"Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem." New York: Random House, 

"And Still I Rise." New York: Random House, 1978. 

"A Brave and Startling Truth." New York: Random House, 1995. 

"Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer." New York: Random 
House, 2006. 

"The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou." New York: 
Random House, 1994. 

"I Shall Not be Moved." New York: Random House, 1990. 

"Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water Tore I Diiie." New York, 
Random House, 1971. 

"Mother: A Cradle to Hold Me." New York: Random House, 2006. 

"Now Sheba Sings the Song." Ed. Tom Feelings. New York: 
Dutton/Dial, 1987. 

"Oh Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well." New York: 
Random House, 1975. 

"On the Pulse of Morning." New York: Random House, 1993. 

"Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women." New 
York: Random House, 1994. 

"Shaker, Why Don't You Sing?." New York: Random House, 1983. 

Kofi and His Magic. Ed. Margaret Courtney-Clarke. New York: 
Clarkson Potter, 1996. 

Life Doesn't Frighten Me: Poem. New York: Stewart, Tabori & 
Chang, 1993. 


My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken, and Me. New York: C. Pot- 
ter, 1994. 

Angelou, Maya, and Lizzy Rockwell. Angelina of Italy. New York: 
Random House, 2004. 

— . Izak of Lapland. New York: Random House, 2004. 
— . Mikale of Hawaii. New York: Random House, 2004. 
— . Renee Marie of France. New York: Random House, 2004. 


Additional information on Ms. Angelou and her work can be 
found at and in: 

Bloom, Harold, ed. Maya Angelou. New York: Bloom's Literary 
Criticism, 2009. 

Elliot, Jeffrey M., ed. Conversations with Maya Angelou. Jackson: 
University Press of Mississippi, 1989. 

Essick, Kathy M. "The Poetry of Maya Angelou: A Study of the 
Blues Matrix as Force and Code." PhD Dissertation. Indiana 
University of Pennsylvania, 1994. 

Gillespie, Marcia, Rosa Johnson Butler, and Richard A. Long. 
Maya Angelou: A Glorious Celebration. New York: Doubleday, 2008. 

Graham, Joyce L. "Freeing Maya Angelou's 'Caged Bird.' "PhD 
Dissertation. Virginia Polytechnic and State University, 1991. 

Hagen, Lyman B. Heart of a Woman, Mind of a Writer, and Soul of 
a Poet: A Critical Analysis of the Writings of Maya Angelou. 
Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1997. 

"Maya Angelou." Interview by George Plimpton, Paris Review, 
No. 116 (Fall 1990): 144-167. 

McPherson, Dolly Aimee. Order Out of Chaos: The Autobiographi- 
cal Works of Maya Angelou. New York: P. Lang, 1990. 

Walker, Leila Andrea. "Touch Me, Life, Not Softly: The Poetry of 
Maya Angelou." PhD Dissertation. Florida State University, 1994. 


Concerning Kathryn Stripling Byer 
AND Her Poems 

BY John Lang 

In her essay "Deep Water," 
published in Bloodroot: 
Reflections on Place by 
Appalachian Women Writers, poet 
Kathryn Stripling Byer (known to 
her friends as Kay) writes movingly 
of her identification with the 
mountain South, and of her desire to give voice to the women 
who have lived there — especially those of her grandmother's 
generation. In that essay she emphasizes the importance of 
the traditional ballads that helped to sustain these women, 
their singing a means of survival amid difficult circumstances: 
daunting solitude, harsh physical labor, floods and blizzards 
and drought, sudden illnesses, and early death. Despite such 
conditions, these women developed an intense attachment to 
place, a love of the mountain landscape. About them Byer says, 
"they were able to sing their way through their solitude and into 
larger web of voices, voices that I have come to see as connective 
tissue stretching across these hills." 

Yet Byer's life did not begin in the mountains — nor even 
in North Carolina. Like her good friend Lee Smith, Kay is an 
adoptive daughter of the state, to whose mountains she moved 
in 1968. Born in 1944 to C. M. and Bernice Stripling in Camilla, 

Georgia, a small town in the southwest part of the state, she 
grew up on her parents' farm just four miles from another farm 
owned by her grandfather. Thus, as for many of the southern 
writers of her generation, agrarian life had a shaping influence 
on her imagination. But so, vicariously, did the mountains, largely 
through the figure of her paternal grandmother, who had been 
born in north Georgia and who had always longed to return to 
those mountains. While growing up in southwest Georgia, Byer 
recalls, "I used to go walking in the wide fields near sunset.... I 
could look way beyond the border of oak trees and imagine that 
the blue massing clouds were mountains, the Blue Ridge, the 
place my grandmother had wanted to be when she died.... The 
mountains were where she belonged, though she lived most of 
her adult life in the hot, mosquito-ridden flatlands of tropical 
Georgia.... Mountains were where I too belonged, I decided 
during my sunset ramblings." 

After earning her BA at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, 
in 1966, and her MFA at the University of North Carolina 
at Greensboro in 1968 — where Fred Chappell, Allen Tate, 
and Robert Watson were among her teachers — Kay moved to 
Cullowhee and has resided in the mountains of western North 
Carolina ever since. Two years after her move, she married James 
Byer, an English professor at Western Carolina University, the 
school at which Kay would serve as poet-in-residence from 1988 
to 1998. She and Jim have one child, a daughter, Corinna. 

It was in North Carolina, then, that Byer began the 
distinguished literary career that has now produced six full-length 
collections of poems, the first of which. The Girl in the Midst 
of the Harvest (\986), was published in the Associated Writing 
Programs award series. Although that book refers to the poet's 


movement from Georgia to the North Carohna mountains, many 
of its poems are set on and around the farms of her birthplace. 
Yet what Hnks these two different settings — the flatland farm 
and the mountains — is their close contact with the natural 
world, what Byer elsewhere refers to as "the blooming / world's 
psalmody" About the landscape of her childhood she states in 
an early interview, "The land, nature, the fields and trees around 
me, were always like a haven, the 'hiding places of power,' as 
Wordsworth says.... The land helps us remember, keeps us rooted 
to what matters, and rises up in us as praise, pure celebration." 

It is obviously that spirit of celebration that suffuses the 
opening poems of Girl, especially "Wide Open, These Gates," 
"Cornwalking," and "Daughter." In the first two the poet depicts 
herself as both walker and singer, someone whose lyrics blend, 
significantly with the songs she attributes to nature's creatures. 
"The gnats sing, and I'm going / to sing," she proclaims in 
"Wide Open," while "Cornwalking" concludes with the poet's 
song joining that of "the gathering wind in the corn itself / 
singing." In addition to nature, family relationships are among 
the most prominent subjects in this first volume of Kay's poems, 
culminating in the closing sequence of eight poems, titled "I 
Inherit the Light of My Grandmother's House." Although the 
sequence leaves little doubt that the actual house has been reduced 
to ashes, the poet's imagination restores the house to wholeness — 
and does so not only by insisting on the granddaughter's right 
of inheritance but also by affirming the grandmother's own 
contentment with the life she had lived. "Today she would change 
nothing," the final poem, "Kitchen Sink," begins. That poem's 
pivotal line, the eleventh of twenty-one, reads, "The reward 
of a long life is faith." But in one of her characteristically apt 


uses of enjambment, Byer immediately adds, after a stanza 
break for heightened emphasis, "in what's left." Rather than 
endorsing traditional religious belief, with its emphasis on an 
otherworldly afterlife, the poet subverts such belief, writing of 
her grandmother, "She has been able / to lay up her treasures 
on earth, / as if heaven were here, worth believing," lines 
that highlight the immanent, not the transcendent. As Kay 
once remarked to an interviewer, "In an ideal world, our poets 
would. . .through their poems urge us to. . .fall in love again and 
again with the things of this world." For this poet who has 
identified herself as a "lapsed Presbyterian," such heterodoxy 
remains an integral feature of her literary vision. 

"Kitchen Sink" was not only the fmal poem in Girl; it also 
concluded Byer s 1983 chapbook Alma, which first introduced 
the striking persona of her second full-length collection, 
PTildwood Flower (1992), winner of the Lamont Poetry Prize 
awarded by the Academy of American Poets. In this book Byer 
roots Alma firmly in the Appalachian mountains of the late 
nineteenth or early twentieth century, giving this persona a 
richly significant name, for in Latin alma means nourishing, 
kind, cherishing. When applied to a wet nurse, the term 
suggests the breast and thus implies uniquely female nurturing. 
As a poetic epithet, the term was often applied to goddesses 
like Ceres and Venus. Alma's name thus connotes traditional 
female roles in providing nurture, but it also reflects Byer's 
commitment to the natural world and to the body. In "Deep 
Water" Byer comments on the genesis of this persona, "this 
solitary voice I could not get out of my head": 

When her poems began to speak to me, I had no idea who was saying 
them, only that they had originated on a hike up the Kanati Fork trail 


in the Great Smoky Mountains. Halfway up the trail, I happened upon a 
deserted homesite hidden away in the darkness of vines and brush. What 
sort of woman could live up here, I wondered. How could she stand it?.... 
Whoever this voice was, I knew she had been waiting a long time to 

Alma emerges, then, out of the silence that had long afflicted 
women, as feminist thinkers like Tillie Olsen have emphasized. 
To articulate distinctively female experience has been one of 
this poet's primary aims throughout her career, an aim she 
accomplishes superbly in her portrait of Alma, who is a figure 
of endurance despite the challenges posed by a harsh physical 
landscape and the disappointments she confronts in human 

Like JVildwood Flower, Black Shawl (1998) is filled with the 
voices of mountain women. In fact, the first of the book's three 
sections is titled "Voices," while the third, "Delphia," introduces 
another major persona in Byer's work, in this case one based 
on an actual person, Delphia Potts, whose daughters befriended 
the poet following her move to western North Carolina. In an 
interview with Lee Smith published in The Iron Mountain Review, 
Byer indicates that many of the poems in Black Shawl are "spill- 
over" poems written during the composition of TVildwood Flower. 
"poems that went into Black Shawl rather than JVildwood Flower 
because the voice didn't seem quite like Alma's." Both books 
illustrate what Sarah Kennedy has labeled Byer's "incremental 

"Her work builds," says Kennedy, "through the accretion 
of similar voices in poem after poem," voices that comment 
powerfully on women's experiences of household labor, child- 
rearing, marital relationships, and such activities as quilting, 
cooking, and ballad singing. 


In Black Shawl Byer highlights quilting and ballad singing 
as expressions of female creativity as well as means of crafting 
identity and establishing continuity between past and present. 
But the quilter Delphia also becomes a model for poets, as Byer 
makes clear in the book's prefatory poem "Mountain Time," one 
of her best known works: "This labor to make our words matter 
/ is what any good quilter teaches. / A stitch in time, let's say." In 
an essay titled "Stitching the Past Together," Byer credits Willa 
Mae Pressley one of Delphia Potts' daughters, with teaching her 
the "lexicon" of quilting, and she claims for quilting a restorative 
power to which her poetry likewise aspires. "Making the world 
whole again," she writes, "perhaps that is really what quilting is all 
about." Her own artistic achievement in these two books testifies 
to poetry's capacity to recover the past, to endow it with order 
and meaning, and to give dignity to ordinary people, particularly 

Byer has acknowledged the major influence on these two 
books of both Emma Bell Miles' Spirit of the Mountains (1905) 
and Lee Smith's portrait of Granny Younger in the novel Oral 
History {\ 98 and Lee, in turn, has remarked on the inspiration 
that Alma's voice provided as Smith composed her novel Fair 
and Tender Ladies (1988). Says Byer in "Deep Water," "I knew 
that. . .when Alma turned contrary and taciturn, I had those old 
prophetesses that Miles celebrates in 'Grandmothers and Sons' 
and Smith's irrepressible Granny Younger to help me out." 

In one of the most accomplished poems in Black Shawl, 
"Timberline," Delphia speaks of "my need to bear witness / to 
all I cannot keep from dying." Because such bearing witness is 
one of the traditional functions of poetry and storytelling more 
than of quilting, readers tend to hear Delphia as a spokesperson 

for Byer herself. 'Timberline" ends with Delphia identifying 
herself with the trees, seeing herself as an extension of the 
natural world rather than separate from it or in opposition to it, 
and hence joining her "sisters up there on the ridge, / still in line 
for the next dancing lesson." Such attachment to and celebration 
of nature are characteristic of Byer s poetry, the hardships that 
nature can impose notwithstanding. Her imagery is precise, 
musical, and evocative, as when she writes, "The sickle / moon's 
ghost / ear floats over / us, listening, / listening." 

The last poem in Delphia's voice in Black Shawl is 
"Tuckasegee," the only poem transplanted to that book from the 
chapbook Alma. Taking its title from a river in western North 
Carolina, this poem draws on the Greek philosopher Heraclitus' 
linking of water and time, whose mutual fluidity leads Delphia 
not only to thoughts of change and decay but also to reflections 
about the interminable cycles of doing and undoing (or re-doing) 
that have constituted much of women's work: preparing daily 
meals and cleaning up afterwards, washing clothes that will soon 
need washing again, planting and harvesting and replanting, 
giving birth and laying out the bodies of the dead. "It has always 
been / done, this undoing / ongoing," Delphia observes. Yet 
rather than plunging her into despair, this cyclical pattern fails 
to daunt Delphia. "Our time is the music / the water makes," she 
declares, a music that fills both the mountaineers' traditional 
ballads and Byer's own poems, the music of mortality. 

That music achieves its diapason in Byer's fourth book. 
Catching Light {^OO^), the first section of which is titled "In 
the Photograph Gallery." Some of the poems in this ten-part 
sequence originally appeared in Byer's chapbook Eve (1998), 
inspired by an exhibition of photographs by Louanne Watley 


titled "Evelyn." On one level, then, the book's title refers to 
photography's use of light, but it also suggests the quest 
for truth, for illumination, especially in terms of the human 
confrontation with old age and death. Death remains, perhaps, 
the most universal of human experiences, a perennial subject of 
poetry; yet it achieves a special urgency in the work of a poet like 
Byer (or that of the Wallace Stevens of "Sunday Morning") who 
seeks a more earth-oriented religious vision than the otherworldly 
perspective that Christianity has historically represented. 

Several poems in Part Two, most notably "Music Lessons" and 
"Aria," juxtapose such this-worldly and otherworldly outlooks. 
In the former, for instance, grandchildren gather around their 
grandmother and sing "The Last Rose of Summer," with its 
"faraway garden," meanwhile ignoring the grandmother's "own 
garden rife with petunias / and blossoming okra plants" in which 
"honeybees reveled." Busy "rehearsing old endings," including 
by implication the orthodox Christian view of heaven as fmal 
destination, the grandchildren overlook the paradisal garden 
that surrounds them. In both poems it is resurrection in nature, 
"earthly awakenings," not rebirth into an afterlife, that Byer 

Unlike Byer's preceding books. Catching Light rsLrely focuses 
on distinctly Appalachian materials. Nor does it project a strong 
sense of place or evince much concern for the idea of home, 
although Evelyn, as noted, does have an intimate relationship 
with the natural world and feels affection for many of the 
physical features of her house and yard. Yet in Coming to Rest 
(2006), Byer's fifth book, the term "home" appears in at least 
twenty of the collection's thirty-six poems. What might account 
for this renewed attention to the idea of home? Two of the 

most important factors, arguably, were the events of September 
1 1, 2001, and the departure for college of the poet's daughter 
Corinna, to whom Byer dedicates Coming to Rest That September 
1 1 had a powerful impact on Byer is evident in her chapbook Wake 
(2003), which contains a dozen poems, five of them responses 
to the violence of that day Presiding over this chapbook is the 
Anglo-Saxon figure of fatality Wyrd, who gives the final poem 
its title. Imaged as one of the classical Fates, "her rusty shears 
clacking," this figure pronounces the chapbook's closing words, 
posing the crucial question, "Which way?" 

The poems of Coming to Rest reveal that Byer's response to 
that question, at least in part, was to embed herself more deeply 
in family relationships, in ties based on home and memory and 
a heightened attachment to nature. In several of these poems 
Byer's grandmother is again a prominent figure, and the final six 
poems in Part One all deal with experiences involving Corinna, 
experiences that range from infancy to this daughter's twenty- 
first birthday At the same time, however. Part Two of Coming 
to Rest, titled "Singing to Salt Woman," shows Byer utilizing the 
journey motif — indeed the motif of spiritual pilgrimage — to 
explore Native American creation myths and thus leaving home 
to return enriched by this alternative to the Judeo-Christian 

Although Byer had also invoked Native American spirituality 
in Black Shawl, drawn to its reverence for nature and its 
equanimity in the face of death, "Singing to Salt Woman" is 
her fullest treatment to date of this religious perspective. This 
sequence of fourteen separately titled poems, along with an 
untitled envoi, revolves around two physical substances essential 
to all life, water and salt, the Cherokee words for which give the 


first and last of the fourteen poems their titles. In the Cherokee 
language the two words mirror one another — A-ma' (water) and 
A'ma (salt) — so Byer may be using this parallel to underscore the 
interconnection of all living things, including human beings and 
nature. The legend of Salt Woman mentioned in the poem "Zuni" 
directs readers to what that text's closing lines call "a creation 
story / whose ripples keep spreading / beyond comprehension." 
Over against the creation story in Genesis, with its account of 
human dominion over nature and estrangement from God, Byer 
sets "the earth herself / chanting her way back through time 
/ to the dawn of the first morning." Just as the trajectory of 
the airplane in "Chicago Bound," the final poem in Part One, is 
earthward, so the trajectory of Byer's mythopoeic vision in Part 
Two comes to rest on the images of a linen tablecloth settling 
over a table and of a person delighting in the sight and smell and 
taste of raspberries, relishing nature's goodness and the pleasures 
of the senses. The philosophical-religious outlook embodied here 
has been consistent throughout Byer's poetic career. It is the one 
she articulated to interviewer Cecilia Woloch when she remarked, 
"how blessed we are to live on this earth. ... our home, paradise, is 
right here." 

Many of the poems in her newest book. Descent, scheduled 
for publication in the fall of 2012, return to the landscape of her 
childhood in southwest Georgia. These poems differ significantly 
from her earlier work both in their overt reference to social- 
political issues like racism and the civil rights movement and in 
their increased use of traditional forms like the sonnet sequence 
rather than the free verse structures more common in her poetry. 
The remarkable Southern Fictions sequence even contains two 
double sonnets. Descent thus reveals a mature, sophisticated 

poet who continues to reshape her art while maintaining her 
commitment to narrative poetry of great emotional and thematic 

Throughout her career Byer has received notable awards 
and honors at the state and national level. In the 1980s she held 
fellowships from both the North Carolina Arts Council and the 
National Endowment for the Arts. In the 1990s, in addition to 
the Lamont Poetry Prize for JVildwood Flower, she earned the 
Thomas Wolfe Literary Award and the Roanoke-Chowan Award 
for Black Shawl, and in 200 1 she received the North Carolina 
Award in Literature. The following year Catching Light was 
named the best book of poetry published in 2002 by the Southern 
Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA). For Coming to Rest she 
received the Hanes Poetry Award presented by the Fellowship of 
Southern Writers at its biennial meeting in 2007. And from 2005 
to 2009 she served with great effectiveness as North Carolina 
poet laureate, the first woman to hold that position. As Poet 
Laureate not only did she give numerous readings and organize 
a variety of other literary events throughout the state, but she 
also created a popular blog that enhanced public awareness of 
poetry and encouraged its study. Fellow poet Betty Adcock has 
rightly remarked, "North Carolina is lucky indeed that [Kay] has 
spent her adult life here in our mountains. . .. Kay has given North 
Carolina poetry, and North Carolina's mountain landscape, the 
woman's voice that had been lacking." 

It seems fitting that one of Byer's poems should have the final 
word in this brief account of her life and work. Here is "Easter," 
which unites several of the main features of her poetry discussed 
above: foregrounding of female experience, beautifully detailed 
images of nature, quiet subversion of otherworldly religious 


perspectives, and careful attention to the music of words. The 
poem is spoken by Alma of Wildwood Flower. 


Where my father's house stood 

at the edge of the cove is a brown church 

the faithful call Bosom of God. 

I have come back to sit at the window 

where I can see apple trees bud 

while the preacher shouts death has no victory. 

Everywhere dogwoods are blooming 

like white flesh this man claims 

is devil's work: woman who tasted 

the apple and disobeyed God. But for Christ 

we are doomed to the worms waking under 

these hills I would rather be climbing 

again with my father's goats bleating 
so loud I can't hear this man say 
I must ask the Lord pardon for what 
I've come back to remember — the sun 
on my neck as I shook loose my braids 
and bent over the washpot. My bare feet 

were frisky. If wind made the overalls 

dance on the clothesline, then why 

shouldn't I? Who's to tell 

me I should not have shouted for joy 

on this hill? It's the wind I praise God for 

today, how it lifted my hair like a veil. 


Mountain Time 

News travels slowly up here 

in the mountains, our narrow 

roads twisting for days, maybe years, 

till we get where we're going, 

if we ever do. Even if some lonesome message 

should make it through Deep Gap 

or the fastness of Thunderhead, we're not obliged 

to believe it's true, are we? Consider 

the famous poet, minding her post 

at the Library of Congress, who 

shrugged off the question of what we'd be 

reading at century's end: "By the year 2000 

nobody will be reading poems." Thus she 

prophesied. End of that 

interview! End of the world 

as we know it. Yet, how can I fault 

her despair, doing time as she was 

in a crumbling Capitol, sirens 

and gunfire the nights long, the Pentagon's 

stockpile of weapons stacked higher 

and higher. No wonder the books 

stacked around her began to seem relics. 

No wonder she dreamed her own bones 

dug up years later, tagged in a museum somewhere 

in the Midwest: American Poet — Extinct Species. 

Up here in the mountains 

we know what extinct means. We've seen 

how our breath on a bitter night 

fades like a ghost from the window glass. 

We know the wolf's gone. 

The panther. We've heard the old stories 

run down, stutter out 

into silence. Who knows where we're heading? 


All roads seem to lead 

to Millennium, dark roads with drop-offs 

we can't plumb. It's time to be brought up short 

now with the tale-teller's Listen: There once lived 

a woman named Delphia 

who walked through these hills teaching children 

to read. She was known as a quilter 

whose hand never wearied, a mother 

who raised up two daughters to pass on 

her words like a strong chain of stitches. 

Imagine her sitting among us, 

her quick thimble moving along these lines 

as if to hear every word striking true 

as the stab of her needle through calico. 

While prophets discourse about endings, 

don't you think she'd tell us the world as we know it 

keeps calling us back to beginnings? 

This labor to make our words matter 

is what any good quilter teaches. 

A stitch in time, let's say. 

A blind stitch, 

that grips the edges 

of what's left, the ripped 

scraps and remnants, whatever 

won't stop taking shape even though the whole 

crazy quilt's falling to pieces. 

From Black Shawl by Kathryn Stripling Byer. Copyright © 1998 by Kathryn 
Stripling Byer. Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press. 



Black Shawl: Poems. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University 
Press, 1998. 

Catching Light: Poems. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University 
Press, 2002. 

Coming to Rest: Poems. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University 
Press, 2006. 

The Girl in the Midst of the Harvest. Lubbock, Tex.: Texas Tech 
Press, 1986. 

Southern Fictions. Durham: Jacar Press, 201 1. 

Wildwood Flower: Poems. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University 
Press, 1992. 


Here, Where I Am — http:/ /kathrynstriplingbyer. 

Language Matters — 

Mountain Woman — 
My Laureate's Lasso — 


"Kathryn Stripling Byer Issue." The Iron Mountain Review 18 
(Spring 2002). 

Richman, Ann F. "Singing Our Hearts Away: The Poetry of Kath- 
ryn Stripling Byer." In Her Words: Diverse Voices in Contemporary 
Appalachian Women's Poetry, ed. Mitchel, Felicia (Knoxville: Uni- 
versity of Tennessee Press, 2002), 38-48. 

Smith, James "Not Always a Tiece of Cake': Harrowing Humor 
in the Poetry of Kathryn Stripling Byer." North Carolina Literary 
Review 7 7(2008): 66-73. 



John Lawson, Gentleman Adventurer 

BY Janet Lembke 

If ever a man was impelled by 
insatiable curiosity, it was John 
Lawson. His itch to know led 
him not just into the Carolinas but 
also into alien cultures and a natural 
world quite unlike the one to which 
he was born in England. The year of 
his birth was 1674; as he matured, he 
certainly received a stellar education in 
subjects ranging from divinity to the 
natural sciences. His immigration to 
the Carolinas took place in 1 700, when 
he was a frisky twenty-six years old. The reason that he crossed 
the Atlantic to the New World was word from a "gentleman" 
friend, who had told him that the Carolinas were far and away 
the best part of America to visit. He set sail almost immediately 
and arrived first in New York, then at the port of Charles Town, 
modern Charleston, in the summer of 1700. 

Thence, he embarked with companions on a fifty-seven day 
trek that covered nearly 600 miles. They journeyed up the Santee 
River in a canoe large enough to hold six Englishmen, four 
Indians, and their equipment. They traveled up the Yadkin River 
valley and on, by shank's mare, into present-day North Carolina. 
Their journey ended on the Pamlico River at the future site of 

All along the way, John Lawson recorded his observations. 
The first paragraph of the preface to his book A New Voyage to 
Carolina indicates that he felt it his bounden duty as a gentleman 
to give accurate descriptions of the Carolinas' abundant marvels: 
"Tis a great Misfortune, that most of our Travellers, who go to 
this vast Continent in America, are Persons of the meaner Sort, 

and generally of a very slender Education, who being hir'd by the 
Merchants, to trade amongst the Indians, in which Voyages they 
often spend several Years, are yet, at their Return, uncapable of 
giving any reasonable Account of what they met withal in those 
remote parts." 

John Lawson — I see him in mind's eye as he paddled up rivers 
and traipsed through swamps and forests, savannahs and Indian 
settlements. His traveling kit held no freeze-dried foods, no 
plastic, no Gore-Tex. Custom had led Lawson and his companions 
into the wilderness dressed like gentlemen in waistcoats, breeches, 
stockings, and hats. Lawson also lugged paper and pens, or had 
someone lug them for him. Ink was manufactured from natural 
materials as it was needed. 

The two-month trek through the wilderness was hardly 
easy. Lawson's journal is so vivid that we are there with him 
through times of misery and times of delight. And note his 
shoulder-shrugging humor in this account of a mishap early in 
the expedition: "Hearing of a Camp of Santee Indians not far of 
[^sic], we set out intending to take up our Quarters with them that 
Night. There being a deep Run of Water on the Way, one of our 
Company, being top-heavy, and their being nothing but a small 
Pole for a Bridge over a Creek, fell into the Water up to the Chin; 
my self laughing at the Accident, and not taking good Heed to 
my Steps, came to the same Misfortune." 

The adventurers dined for the most part on whatever the land 
could provide; one of the Indians accompanying them served 
as a hunter, though he tended to bring in kills of questionable 
culinary taste. Remember, it was winter, and the weather was 
sometimes frigid. Of one evening made even colder by a brisk 
wind, Lawson wrote: "We made our selves as merry as we could, 
having a good Supper with the Scraps of Venison we had given us 
by the Indians, having kill'd 3 Teal and a Possum, which Medly all 
together made a curious Ragoo." 

Like all writers worth reading, Lawson had a keen eye for 
the kind of detail that pulls us, centuries later, into the thick of 
the scene. We join him at a settlement of Santee Indians where 
his party had been invited for dinner. The Indians "made us 


very welcome with fat barbecu'd Venison, which the Woman of 
the Cabin took and tore in Pieces with her Teeth, so put it in a 
Mortar, beating it to Rags, afterwards stews it with Water and 
other Ingredients, which makes a very savory Dish." With him, 
we attend a feast, then a ceremonial dance in a large, fire-lit lodge 
of the Waxhaw tribe. Lawson wrote: "Their way of Dancing is 
nothing but a sort of Stamping Motion, much like the treading 
upon Founders [Foundry] Bellows. This Female Gang held their 
dance for above six Hours, being all of them in a white Lather, 
like a Running Horse that has just come in from his Race." 

The journey ended on February 24, 1701. And Lawson 
prospered thereafter. His travels continued, along with his 
investigations of native life. He spent time as a surveyor and in 
1708 became the official surveyor for the Lords Proprietor of the 
Carolinas. His map of North Carolina was published in 1709, the 
same year in which his book A New Voyage to Carolina appeared. 
He'd made a special trip to England to see it to print. 

One of the book's features is a real-estate prospectus for the 
land that Lawson called "Summer-Country." The beginning of 
this prospectus is worth quoting, for it shows Lawson's pleasure 
in language and his gift for word-slinging. Here he describes the 
milk-and-honey land to which he would summon immigrants: 

When we consider the Latitude and convenient Situation of Carolina 
had we no farther Confirmation thereof, our Reason would inform 
us, that such a Place lay fairly to be a delicious Country, being placed 
in that Girdle of the World which affords Wine, Oil, Fruit, Grain, 
and Silk, with other rich Commodities, besides a sweet Air, moderate 
Climate, and fertile Soil; these are the Blessings (under Heaven's 
Protection) that spin out the Thread of Life to its utmost Extent, and 
crown our Days with the Sweets of Health and Plenty, which, when 
join'd with Content, renders the Possessors the happiest Race of Men 
upon Earth. 

He went on to assure would-be settlers that the land was 
not only affordable but also that the winters were so mild that 
farm animals, unlike livestock in winter countries, would not 
require any human help to survive till warm weather arrived. But 
hurry! He bade them come before all the prime pieces of land 


were taken up. North Carolina was the big rock-candy mountain, 
Beulah Land, Utopia, in truth an earthly Paradise. John Lawson 
understood the art of hyperbole as well as any real-estate 
pitchman wooing a prospect. (He did stand to gain, for he owned 
many parcels of land, some of which lay in the towns that he 
co-founded — Bath and New Bern. Surveying both locations, he 
set in streets and laid out numbered lots.) But beyond hyperbole, 
Lawson believed wholeheartedly in what he'd written. The man 
was in love with his newfound land. 

John Lawson not only lauded Carolina's climate and land, 
along with the concomitant certainty of making a profit from 
farming or engaging in the lumber trade, he also wrote up his 
investigations of the natural world that he found mainly in the 
eastern part of the territory. Five subjects comprised his inquiry: 
Carolina's vegetables, beasts, insects, birds, and fish. Beasts, birds, 
and fish are straightforward descriptions. By "vegetables," Lawson 
means "vegetation." Most of his insects are much better classified 
as reptiles; they include alligators, turtles, lizards, and many 
species of snake. 

Frogs, too, are found in this category. As always, Lawson 
could put us on the scene by illustrating his catalogs with stories. 
He wrote, for example, of sitting one evening with his bulldog 
near the fire-lit hearth in a house that he had built near an Indian 
town on the Neuse. Suddenly, both man and dog were frightened 
by a great roar that made the house shake. And the roar was 
repeated four or five times. The source? An alligator had made 
itself at home directly under Lawson's dwelling. 

His descriptions make it quite clear that he did not cotton to 
rattlesnakes, water snakes, and swamp snakes, but he had kind 
words for not uncommon species: "Green Snakes are very small, 
tho pretty (if any Beauty can be allow'd to Snakes.) [sic^ Every 
one makes himself very familiar with them, and puts them in their 
bosom because there is no harm, in them." I thought of Lawson 
as I picked pole beans, for little rough green snakes wound 
themselves like tendrils among the vines. 

To his credit, Lawson did not ignore creatures that we would 
commonly think of as insects. His classification, however, is 


still askew: "The Reptiles, or smaller Insects, are too numerous 
to relate here, this Country affording innumerable quantities 
thereof, as the Flying-Stags with Horns, Beetles, Butterflies, 
Grasshoppers, Locust, and several hundreds of uncouth Shapes." 
It's easy to forgive Lawson because he has, no matter how 
misguidedly, given us a lively catalog of reptiles, amphibians, and 

In the vegetation category, Lawson's interest focused on 
utility He first discussed such matters as making candles from the 
berries of wax myrtles and brewing the purgative tea, concocted 
from yaupon holly, that the Indians drank. He then segued neatly 
into a thorough examination of "the Timber that Carolina 
affords." Red oaks make good fence rails. Sassafras and sweet gum 
offer medicaments from their roots and sap respectively. Some 
trees yield comestibles, like nuts or fruit or the sweet sap of the 
sugar tree, which Lawson rightly suspected might be a kind of 
maple. Bald cypress was used for canoes, w^hile white cedar served 
as an excellent wood for building cabins, and tulip trees yielded 
wainscoting and shingles. Lawson heard of another use for a tulip 
tree and enlivened his list with this tidbit: "I have been inform'd 
of a Tulip-Tree that was ten Foot Diameter, and another, wherein 
a lusty Man had his Bed and Household Furniture, and liv'd in it 
till his Labour got him a more fashionable Mansion." 

Lawson's inventory of beasts covered wild animals from 
buffalo and bears through panthers and otters to possums and 
bats. Again, his attention zeroed in on an animal's usefulness. 
"The Elk," he wrote, "is a Monster of the Venison sort." The 
description is illustrated by a drawing of a wolf on an elk's back 
biting the animal's neck to bring it down. The wolf, too, had 
its uses: its skin made the best drum heads and, when tanned, 
provided fine leather for shoes. As for bears, I imagine Lawson 
salivating as he wrote this: "The Bears here are very common, 
though not so large as in Groenland; and the more northern parts 
of Russia. The Flesh of this Beast is very good, and nourishing, 
and not inferiour to the best Pork in Taste." The problem with 
bears was that they ravaged the Indians' corn fields. 

In the Fish category, Lawson listed saltwater species, 


freshwater species, and shellfish. He covered marine life from 
whales to "Muscles." As might be expected, an element of story- 
telling surfaces in some descriptions. Here's Lawson waxing 
melodramatic on the devil ray: 

The Divel-Fish lies at some of our Inlets, and, as near as I can 
describe him, is shaped like a Scate, or Stingray; only he has on his 
Head a Pair of very thick strong Horns, and, is of a monstrous Size 
and Strength; for this fish has been known to weigh a Sloop's Anchor, 
and run with the Vessel a League or two, and bring her back, against 
Tide, to almost the same Place. 

All marine creatures were divided into two sorts — the 
edible and the if-you-try-it-you'll-spit-it-out. But some of the 
unsavory sort were good sources of oil. Others, like the toad fish, 
were of no use whatsoever. Lawson's scorn was manifest in his 
description: "Toad-Fish are nothing but a Skin full of Prickles, 
and a few Bones; they are as ugly as a Toad, and preserv'd to look 
upon, and good for nothing else." 

And the birds — oh, Lawson's birds! A New Voyage to Carolina 
contains an extensive list of the birds to be found on or near 
the central Atlantic seaboard. Lawson has been given credit 
for being the founder of ornithology in America. His list, pre- 
Linnaean and unscientific in modern terms, was organized by 
the shrewd logic of an acute observer into two sections, "Birds" 
and "Fowl," with the former devoted to birds of the land — from 
raptors to songbirds — and the latter to birds of the water — swans 
and ducks, herons and gulls, and some otherwise unidentified 
species that Lawson called Tutcocks and Swaddle-Bills. Though 
Lawson never said so directly, he probably prepared his list with 
something other than ornithology in mind. That something was 
the bird-lusty eighteenth-century appetite. Close to one-third of 
the descriptions contain judgments on whether the species under 
consideration is good to eat. Crows, "as good Meat as a Pigeon," 
definitely made the cut. 

When it came to the mockingbird, Lawson was not just lyrical 
but also respectful: 


The Mocking-Bird is about as big as a Throstle in England, but 
longer; they are of a white and gray Colour, and are held to be the 
Choristers of America, as indeed they are. They sing with the greatest 
Diversity of Notes, that is possible for a Bird to change to. They may 
be bred up, and will sing with us tame in Cages; yet I never take any 
of their Nests, altho' they build yearly in my Fruit Trees, because I 
have their Company, as much as if tame, as to the singing Part. They 
often sit upon our Chimneys in summer, there being then no Fire in 
them, and sing the whole Evening and most part of the Night. 

That's a concert we can still hear, just as we may happily take 
along a copy of Lawson's list when we go birding. 

After seeing to the publication of his book in London, John 
Lawson returned to North Carolina in the spring of 1710. Three 
hundred Palatines accompanied him and settled into the town of 
New Bern. That summer. Baron Christopher von Graffenried, 
the co-founder of New Bern, arrived with another group of 
settlers. Profit — one of Lawson's primary goals — burgeoned. In 
the summer of 1711, Lawson and von Graffenried embarked on a 
trip up the Neuse to see if it was a navigable waterway that would 
allow access to Virginia. But the relations between the colonists 
and the Indians had soured. The native inhabitants had seen their 
hunting grounds trampled, their women and children enslaved, 
and their settlements impoverished by the traders' shady dealings. 
Alcoholism was a persistent problem, which John Lawson 
chronicled in his accounts of Indian life. The expedition up the 
Neuse had no sooner begun than it was brought to a halt by a 
war-party of Tuscaroras. Believing that von Graffenried was the 
governor of North Carolina, the Indians released him. But John 
Lawson was put to death. He was thirty-six years old. 

He had, however, left a legacy that cannot be surpassed — his 
encyclopedic book. And that book was my companion during the 
eighteen years that I spent on the banks of the wide salty river 
Neuse. If we caught a sheepshead or bonito in our gill net, we 
consulted John Lawson. If we saw a brown pelican — a rare sight 
in the 1980s — we turned to Lawson's comments. "The Pellican 
of the Wilderness," he wrote, "cannot be the same as ours; this 
being a Water of Fish, which is what he lives on." ("Pelican of the 
wilderness" is a phrase taken from the Prayer Book of 1622; it 


symbolizes human isolation, helplessness, and hope.) And Lawson 
noted that "...this being a Water-Fowl, with a great natural Wen 
or Pouch under his Throat, in which he keeps his Prey of fish, 
which is what he lives on. The pelican is never used as food." 

Later, when a redbud tree volunteered in my Virginia yard, 
to whom did I turn but John Lawson. He told me that "the Red- 
Bud Tree wears a purple Lark-Heel, and is the best Sallat of any 
flower I ever saw." He was right, of course. The sweet-tasting 
flowers make a lovely garnish for a tossed salad. 

John Lawson, the very model of an eighteenth-century 
gentleman, was the first star in North Carolina's literary 
firmament. His sparkle and shine have not dimmed. 


A New Voyage to Carolina 

At our Waxsaw Landlord's Cabin, was a Woman employ'd 
in no other Business than Cookery; it being a House of 
great Resort. The Fire was surrounded with Roast-meat, 
or Barbakues, and the Pots continually boiling full of Meat, from 
Morning till Night. This She-Cook was the cleanliest I ever saw 
amongst the Heathens of America, washing her Hands before she 
undertook to do any Cookery; and repeated this unusual Decency 
very often in a day. She made us as White-Bread as any English 
could have done, and was full as neat, and expeditious, in her Af- 

It happen'd to be one of their great Feasts, when we were 
there: The first day that we came amongst them, arriv'd an Am- 
bassador from the King of Sapona, to treat with these Indians 
about some important Affairs. He was painted with Vermillion 
all over his Face, having a very large Cutlass stuck in his Girdle, 
and a Fusee in his Hand. At Night, the Revels began where this 
Foreign Indian was admitted; the King, and War Captain, inviting 
us to see their Masquerade: 

This Feast was held in Commemoration of the plentiful Har- 
vest of Corn they had reap'd the Summer before, with an united 
Supplication for the like plentiful Produce the Year ensuing. These 
Revels are carried on in a House made for that purpose. 

In these State-Houses is transacted all Publick and Private 
Business, relating to the Affairs of the Government. In this The- 
ater, the most Aged and Wisest meet, determining what to Act, 
and what may be most convenient to Omit, Old Age being held 
in as great Veneration amongst these Heathens, as amongst any 
People you shall meet withal in any Part of the World. 

Whensoever an Aged Man is speaking, none ever interrupts 
him, (the contrary Practice the English, and other Europeans, 
too much use) the Company yielding a great deal of Attention 
to his Tale, with a continued Silence, and an exact Demeanour, 
during the Oration. Indeed, the Indians are a People that never 
interrupt one another in their Discourse. ... Amongst Women, 
it seems impossible to fmd a Scold. ... Would some of our Euro- 


pean Daughters of Thunder set these Indians for a Pattern, there 
might be more quiet Famihes found amongst them, occasion'd by 
that unruly Member, the Tongue. 

Now, to return to our State-House, whither we were invited 
by the Grandees: As soon as we came into it, they plac'd our Eng- 
hshmen near the King; it being my Fortune to sit next him, hav- 
ing his great General, or War-Captain, on my other Hand. The 
House is as dark as a Dungeon, and as hot as one of the Dutch- 
Stoves in Holland. They had made a circular Fire of split Canes 
in the middle of the House. It was one Man's Employment to add 
more split Reeds to the one end as it consum'd at the other, there 
being a small Vacancy left to supply it with Fewel. They brought 
in great store of Loblolly, and other Medleys, made of Indian 
Grain, stewed Peaches, Bear- Venison, &c. every one bringing 
some Offering to enlarge the Banquet, according to his Degree 
and Quality The Company was summon'd by Beat of Drum; the 
Musick being made of a dress'd Deer's Skin, tied hard upon an 
Earthen Porridge-Pot. Presently in came fme Men dress'd up with 
Feathers, their Faces being covered with Vizards made of Gourds; 
round their Ancles and Knees, were hung Bells of several sorts, 
having Wooden Falchions in their Hands, (such as Stage-Fencers 
commonly use;) in this Dress they danced about an Hour, shewing 
many strange Gestures, and brandishing their Wooden Weapons, 
as if they were going to fight each other; oftentimes walking very 
nimbly round the Room, without making the least Noise with 
their Bells, (a thing I much admired at;) again, turning their Bod- 
ies, Arms and Legs, into such frightful Postures, that you would 
have guess'd they had been quite raving mad: At last, they cut two 
or three high Capers, and left the Room. 

In their stead, came in a parcel of Women and Girls, to the 
Number of Thirty odd; every one taking place according to her 
Degree of Stature, the tallest leading the Dance, and the least of 
all being plac'd last; with these they made a circular Dance, like 
a Ring, representing the Shape of the Fire they danced about: 
Many of these had great Horse-Bells about their Legs, and small 
Hawk's Bells about their Necks. They had Musicians, who were 
two Old Men, one of whom beat a Drum, while the other rattled 


with a Gourd, that had Corn in it, to make a Noise withal: To 
these Instruments, they both sung a mournful Ditty; the Bur- 
then of their Song was, in Remembrance of their former Great- 
ness, and Numbers of their Nation, the famous Exploits of their 
Renowned Ancestors, and all Actions of Moment that had (in 
former Days) been perform'd by their Forefathers. At these Festi- 
vals it is, that they give a Traditional Relation of what hath pass'd 
amongst them, to the younger Fry These verbal Deliveries being 
always publish'd in their most Publick Assemblies, serve instead 
of our Traditional Notes, by the use of Letters. Some Indians, 
that I have met withal, have given me a very curious Description 
of the great Deluge, the Immortality of the Soul, with a pithy 
Account of the Reward of good and wicked Deeds in the Life to 
come; having found, amongst some of them, great Observers of 
Moral Rules, and the Law of Nature; indeed, a worthy Foundation 
to build Christianity upon, were a true Method found out, and 
practis'd, for the Performance thereof 

From A New Voyage to Carolina (pps. 36-39) by John Lawson. 


Serialized in April 1709 in Stevens, John, ed. A New Collection 
of Voyages and Travels: With Historical Accounts of Discoveries and 
Conquests in all Parts of the World. None of them Ever before Printed 
in English; being Now First Translated from the Spanish, Italian, 
French, Dutch, Portuguese and Other Languages. Adorn d with Cuts, 
for the Month of December, 1708. to be Continu'd Monthly. London: J. 
Knapton, ... [et al.], 1708. 

A New Voyage to Carolina: Containing the Exact Description and Nat- 
ural History of that Country; Together with the Present State Thereof; 
and a Journal of a Thousand Miles, Travel' d Thro' several Nations of 
Indians; Giving a Particular Account of their Customs, Manners, etc. 
London: [s.n.], 1709. 

A New Voyage to Carolina. Edited and with notes by Hugh 
Talmadge Lefler. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina 
Press, 1984. 



Bolen, Eric G. "John Lawson's Legendary Journey." Wildlife in 
North Carolina 62, no. /^(December 1998): 22-27. 

Diket, A. L. "The Noble Savage Convention as Epitomized in John 
Lawson's A New Voyage to Carolina." The North Carolina 
Historical Review 43, no. 4 (October 1966): 413-429. 

Ewen, Charles Robin. "John Lawson's Bath: A Subterranean 
Perspective." The North Carolina Historical Review 88, no. 3 (July 
2011): 265-279. 

Hairr, John. "John Lawson's Observations on the Animals of 
Carolina." The North Carolina Historical Review 88, no. 3 (July 
2011): 312-325. 

"John Lawson: Gentleman, Explorer, Writer." A special section of 
The North Carolina Literary Review 1, no. 1 (Summer 1992): 59-105. 

Latham, Eva C. and Patricia M. Samford. "Naturalist, Explorer, 
and Town Father: John Lawson and Bath." The North Carolina 
Historical Review 88, no. 3 (July 201 1): 250-264. 

Mathewes, Perry. "John Lawson the Naturalist." The North 
Carolina Historical Review 88, no. 3 (July 201 1): 333-348. 

McGill, Kathy O. " The Most Industrious Sex': John Lawson's 
Carolina Women Domesticate the Land." The North Carolina 
Historical Review 88, no. 3 (July 201 1): 280-297. 

Shields, E. Thomson, Jr. "A New Voyage to Carolina: Publication 
History of a Classic of North Caroliniana." The North Carolina 
Historical Review 88, no. 3 (July 20 1 1 ): 298-3 1 1 . 

Simpson, Marcus B., Jr. and Sallie W Simpson. "John Lawson's 
A New Voyage to Carolina: Notes on the Publication History of 
the London (1709) Edition." Archives of Natural History 35, no. 2 
(2008): 223-242. 



is proud to support the North 

Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. 

The Mstoiy of The PiM and that of 
the Noitii Carolna Litcraiy Hail of 
Fame Bie inextiicaWy bound. 

Jarne^ Bo\^, ncp/eM. aiid piibMier of 
T!]£ PltaL mmng Uie original iniliictees to the BM of 
Fame in J 996. He md He vMe. Katharine, wlio eont miied as 

piiblislijer of Tfet mm aft^r his ct eath. were OTmers of 
WejTOOiith. wlwm they established a ^eat ft«aiy tmdtion 

Tlw Me ErniiBrnwh ecJi-tor aiid publMier ai 
Tlie PiM from 196849%, wbs mstanioieiUal in biingiiig the 
Hi-dl of Faille to WeyiriouLii mid Sc ^iittein Ptner^ , He^A^ 
mducied Ui the Hjiil c)ff Faoic m IWl. 

And now, aspibUslier of 37ie HM, DwM WormciJT, g^^e^i- 
iiepli€f¥i' of Jonathan Daniels^ a 1996 inductee to the lii^my 
lioJl of Fame, continiics tMs teiditionof fKiieroatj^ and 
foimgiit by hisinif loitant TOiittlbutioii m k^day'^ 
induction cereiTioi-^^, 

Program Participants 

Danny Bell is Program Coordinator for the curriculum in American Indian 
Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Bell worked at the 
North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs for fourteen years before coming to 
UNC in 1988. He has been honored by the Carolina Indian Circle, the office of the 
Governor of North Carolina, and at the Annual United Tribes of North Carolina 

Sally Buckner is a lifelong North Carolinian who has devoted a good deal of her 
personal and professional life to North Carolina literature. She has edited two 
anthologies of the state's writing: Our JVords, Our Ways: Reading and Writing in 
North Carolina and Word and Witness: 100 Tears of North Carolina Poetry and has 
received the R. Hunt Parker Award for significant contributions to the literature of 
North Carolina. 

Jaki Shelton Green has received the North Carolina Award for Literature, the Sam 
Ragan Award, and was selected as the first Piedmont Laureate in 2009. Her poetry 
has appeared in The Crucible, The African-American Review, Obsidian, Poets for Peace, 
Ms. Magazine, Essence Magazine, KAKALAK, Callaloo, and more. She is the author 
of six poetry collections and a play and the co-editor of two anthologies. 

Phillip Manning has walked in most of the natural areas of North Carolina, 
where he kept bumping into John Lawson. Lawson's sentences were clear, specific, 
and easily understood. Manning has adopted the same style for his own books — 
Afoot in the South, Palmetto Journal, Orange Blossom Trails, Islands of Hope, and five 
titles in the "Essential Chemistry and Science Foundations Series" — but doubts he 
will ever be as good at it as Lawson. 

Lee Smith is the author of fifteen works of fiction including Oral History, Fair and 
Tender Ladies, and her recent collection, Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger. Her 
novel The Last Girls was a 2002 New York Times bestseller as well as winner of 
the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. A retired professor of English at North 
Carolina State University, she has received the North Carolina Award for Literature 
and was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 2008. 

Kay Williams is the Director of Tryon Palace, which includes the restored 1 8th- 
Century colonial capitol of North Carolina, as well as a complex of historic homes 
and buildings, sixteen acres of gardens, and the state-of-the-art North Carolina 
History Center, all in downtown New Bern, a stone's throw from Lawson Creek. 

Edwin Graves Wilson is Professor Emeritus of English and Provost Emeritus of 
Wake Forest University. He has served on the boards of organizations including 
the Atlantic Coast Conference, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the North 
Carolina Humanities Council, and has received the North Carolina Award for 
Public Service. He lives with his wife, the poet and author Emily Herring Wilson, 
in Winston-Salem. 

J. Peder Zane is a writer and editor who worked at The New Tork Times and The 
News & Observer, where he was the Book Review Editor and books columnist. 
He is now the Chair of Department of Journalism and Mass Communications 
at St. Augustine's College. His work has won several national awards, including 
the Distinguished Writing Award for Commentary from the American Society of 
Newspaper Editors. 



Founded in 1985, the nonprofit North Carolina Writers' Network is one of 

the largest statewide literary arts organizations in the country. The mission of 
the North Carolina Writers' Network is to connect, promote, and lead emerging 
writers and established writers through workshops, conferences, and other 
programs and services. The Network builds audiences for literature, advocates for 
the literary arts and for literacy, and provides information and support services for 
writers of all kinds and at all levels, 

The North Carolina Humanities Council is a forty-year-old statewide nonprofit 
affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Humanities Council 
serves as an advocate for lifelong learning and thoughtful dialogue about all 
facets of human life. It facilitates the exploration and celebration of the many 
voices and stories of North Carolina's cultures and heritage. The Humanities 
Council envisions people who explore their personal and collective stories asking 
fundamental questions about identity, work, and culture; learning to value others' 
stories and perspectives; and transforming their lives and communities through 
new reflections and new visions, 

Situated in the former home of acclaimed novelist James Boyd in Southern Pines, 
the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities was incorporated in 1977 to 
provide a variety of excellent arts and humanities programs featuring: musicians, 
lectures, writers, gardening workshops, as well as special events. Proclaimed as 
the site of the Southern Literary Renaissance, Thomas Wolfe, William Faulkner, 
Sherwood Anderson, Laurence Stallings, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Maxwell Perkins, 
John Galsworthy, and Paul Green were frequent guests of the Boyds. Since 1979, 
hundreds of writers have stayed in the writers' quarters as part of the Writers-in- 
Residence program, and Weymouth hosts both the North Carolina Poetry Society 
and the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, 

The North Carolina Center for the Book (a program of the State Library of 
North Carolina, Department of Cultural Resources) was established in 1992 as a 
state affiliate of The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. The Center's 
mission is to foster interest in books, reading, libraries, and North Carolina's 
literary heritage, and to promote the public library's role as a community cultural 
center. Current collaborative projects include reading, viewing, and discussion 
programs for adults; a literature-based essay competition for students; mentorships 
for student poets; and sponsorship of the NC Literary Map. 
http:/ / services/ nccftb.html. 

The North Carolina Collection, located in the Louis Round Wilson Special 
Collections Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is the 
largest and most comprehensive collection of published materials related to 
a single state. With more than 300,000 books, pamphlets, maps, government 
documents, and periodicals, it supports in-depth research into the rich history, 
literature, and culture of North Carolina. Holdings also include 1.8 million 
photographs, 50,000 microforms, and 15,000 collectibles and artifacts. Its Gallery 
offers rotating exhibitions, plus permanent historic period rooms related to Sir 
Walter Raleigh, colonial North Carolina, and the antebellum Hayes Plantation 
"gentleman's library." The Collection also hosts the North Carolina Digital 
Heritage Center, a statewide program offering digitization and digital publishing 
services to cultural heritage institutions across North Carolina. | 



— 2012 Fall Conference — 

Friday - Sunday, November 2-4 

Embassy Suites, 2001 Harrison Oaks Blvd. 
Gary, North Carolina 


Fiction Creative Nonfiction Poetry 
Children's Writing Publishing Humor Writing 

• Manuscript Mart with Agents and Editors • 

• Keynote Address by Edith Pearlman • 

author of Binocular Vision, Winner of 2011 National Book Critics 
Circle Award for Fiction and Finalist for National Book Award 

• Readings by faculty and registrants • 

"The Network is North Carolina's foremost and 
best-organized writers' group." 
—Ben Steelman, Wilmington Star-News 

Re gistration 
www. newriters . org 

Or call (336) 293-8844 for more information. 




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along North Carolina's outstanding literary tradition. Please take a moment 
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so much to our state, and in which all North Carolinians can take great pride. 

All donations are handled by the North Carolina Writers' Network, 
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